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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Dec 4, 2000.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Okay - I gotta know where I stand with this stuff. After playing for free for many years, I started about a year ago doing the mercenary thing. At times I get overloaded with new material, and wind up screwing up a bit on gigs (I'm learning what my limits are). I never really train wreck, and I think I usually cover pretty well. On a bad gig I'd say I average around 3 or 4 minor mistakes that I feel only the band would notice. I've been told by 2 bands now that they expect me not to make any mistakes. They claim that there are session guys they can hire that just flat out don't make mistakes. Is this true? How do you feel about mistakes?
  2. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    When Jeff Beck recorded the guitar solo on "Hi Ho Silver Lining"....He screwed up ...but it sounded so good that it was left as is.
    IMHO if these guys are that pedantic,I personally wouldn't bother with them!
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well...I have met or seen Jazz bass players who just never seem to make mistakes. It just seems that they can cover no matter what happens and despite watching very closely I can never detect a mistake. I suppose there is a case for saying in Jazz that there are no wrong notes, only notes that aren't played with conviction - if you play a note with enough confidence and conviction that it's right, then you will convince others. People might say this is a bit facile - but I think confidence is one of the most important things you can have as a bass player and notes played with conviction will always sound better. If you're worried about making mistakes all the time, then they are probably more likely to happen! ;)
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...when you "push the envelope", mistakes will happen(IMHO, of course).
    Too, STUDIO & LIVE playing are totally different. *Usually*, studio work involves playing a PART...a PART is *usually* consistent enough to stay mistake free. LIVE; I dunno, I feel certain risks should be attempted. I'm not into hearing a LIVE performance done verbatim from the record. ZZZZZZZZZZzzzz.
    Playing "on the edge" is what gives the performance a LIVE feel(unless, for example, you're backing up some Country Diva).
    I suppose one can play it safe & be error-free; kinda boring, though, if you ask me.
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    To Joe Nerve, if your colleagues could hire session players to play perfectly, why didn't they in the first place? I bet the truth is they couldn't get a session player to play for them, probably because session players expect too much money and secondly the session players would be highly critical of them. And if these guys are so darned perfect, why aren't they playing sessions?

    Jason Oldsted

  6. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    If you're not making mistakes then you're not trying hard enough. Big bad note mistakes are a no-no and arrangement mistakes are unthinkable, but flubs here and there go with the territory.
  7. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Why do you think laying down the tracks on a session takes so long? Session players make mistakes, they just go to Take 2, Take 3, Take 4. Of course, we only hear the one they got right!

    And who in the world are these egotistical perfectionists? Are you saying that they honestly don't ever make mistakes? I doubt that.
  8. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    On the liner notes of the Bill Evans/Eddie Gomez recording Intuition Bill says something like 'I played some rather ambiguious notes but I trust Eddie justified them somehow'.
    Maybe there really aren't any wrong notes, just those you were unable to justify?
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    "There are no incorrect notes, only incorrect rhythms".

    In Mark Levine's JAZZ THEORY, he sez something to the effect about playing "outside"-
    ...if it's "wrong", play it strong. Don't be tentative.

    About sessions & multiple takes-
    ...IMO, the FIRST take is usually the *best*. If one is striving for absolute "perfection", then...good luck. :)
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think this is what I was trying to get at - Jazz players do take risks live, but they play "outside" with such conviction, that it sounds right. There's also the tension/release thing - where you might play part of a solo with all "wrong" notes, but release the tension with a section which is very melodic and "consonant". As long as it sounds as if you know what you're doing and you're not hesitant/tentative in any way, then the audience is convinced! ;)
  11. Like you said, they weren't train wrecks so I'd make the exact same mistake again and tell them that I mean to do it! Call their bluffs and let 'em get some pro's in there. Like JasonOldsted said, they probably couldn't get a session guy in there and they will be calling you back. You obviously don't have a problem finding gigs so you won't miss them.
  12. Well ... if 2 bands are saying this, then maybe the semantics of train wreck needs to be determined by the parties involved. If your definition of a minor mistake is a train wreck to them, then their perception is their reality.

    I say, tape your performances, then critically analyze them afterward. Trust your own ears, and learn from it.

    BTW, I make mistakes. The people I play for still like me, compliment and encourage me, and the performances all seem to come off right.

    Oh, and to second a point made about confidence. A pro NEVER shows on his face a flub.

  13. Let's see...last mistake I ever made was when I was playing Californication at my school fair. I actually missed an entire beat because it was cold and my finger slipped up somehow, but no one seemed to notice. Except for one guy who used to go to my school, but when he turned the guys around him and said "Hey, they missed a beat!" They just looked at him as if he was insane. :D
  14. There's a difference between playing with heart and playing with stiff, cold, sterile "perfection."If your buddies want perfection,get a programed bass line.Hint Hint,sequencers don't talk back.
  15. LowfreqB


    Nov 10, 2000
    United States
    To err is human and I'm really human. I remember my 1st gig went very well! Only one flub (missed a note) No one noticed, I was playing a yamaha 5 string with horrible pups. The pups dampened my sound just enough so my bass lines sounded like a constant hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmm mmmmmmmmmm :)My 2nd gig I completely forgot the correct notes and preceded to "improve" the chorus of the song really badly. In my own defense the song was not rehearsed.
  16. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I think its an attitude thing.

    I used to play in a band led by a husband and wife team. When we rehearsed if someone made a minute mistake or flubbed note. We would have to do the song again until it was 'perfect'. I left as soon as possible.

    In my current sitation someone will laugh, shout the chord out or show you the fretboard.

    If you are a team and someone is struggling shouldnt you help them out?
  17. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I've been gigging for twenty years and still make mistakes EVERY gig. I'd say that most of them aren't even noticed by my bandmates. Sometimes they sound OK, it's just not what I was intending to play!! I don't sweat it any more, noone has fired me yet for not being perfect.

    The #1 reason for mistakes: trying to play something you are not 100% sure of. That's whay the more grounded you are on your instrument and the better you understand your material, the fewer mistakes you'll make.

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